The Ontario government says an investment of more than $1.5 million over two years is expected to create up to 100 training and career opportunities in Peterborough’s aviation and aerospace sector.
On Friday morning at the Peterborough Airport, Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development, announced the Altitude program — a new training partnership project for the region’s aerospace and aviation sector.
He said the program is driven by demand from companies, which has the potential to add 230 new jobs within the next five years.
“People in this region should take note: The aviation/aerospace sector is expanding here, which means more jobs,” said McNaughton. “By making this considerable investment, our government is creating opportunities for local talent to solve a labour shortage. This is a win-win.”
McNaughton said as part of the project, Fleming College will work with local aviation and aerospace employers like Flying Colours Corp., Safran Electronics and Defence Canada, The Loomex Group and Team Eagle Ltd. to develop and implement a training curriculum tailored to the talent needs of employers.
The training program, which is receiving $1,548,551 from the province, will teach job-specific skills for fields such as avionics/electrical installation, airport management, aviation consulting and shipping/receiving.
Fleming College president Maureen Adamson says the provincial government has “created jobs and unlocked potential” in the aviation and aerospace sector which will have a profound impact on the city and region.
“Fleming College is very proud to be part of this announcement and work alongside industry partners to train local talent, and provide the skills industry needs to put jobs first,” she said. “Governments and employers need colleges to provide them with graduates who have the knowledge and skills they need to increase productivity and contribute to innovation in Canada. Fleming College stands ready to meet this need and with this funding, will actively open doors for more Ontarians to succeed in the labour market and support workforce development within the aviation industry.”
The training will take place at the Loomex facilities at the Peterborough Airport and is expected to begin Jan. 6.
Trent Gervais, president and CEO of The Loomex Group, which specializes in aviation management, training and emergency management, says his company is pleased to partner with the province on the aviation workforce development program.
“It will support the considerable growth of the aerospace and aviation sectors in the region and Ontario,” he said. “By investing in this program, the government of Ontario will build on previous initiatives that have made the aerospace and aviation sector a significant and growing employment and economic driver for Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland and beyond.”
Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith says the project has the potential to “unlock further economic growth” in the region.
“With the job and training opportunities created here, local companies will get the talent they need to succeed, expand and create further jobs down the road,” he said. “That’s great news for our region.”
The province says the aerospace sector has annual revenues of more than $6 billion and contributes almost $3 billion to Ontario’s GDP. More than 22,000 people in 200 companies work in the industry.
“To make Ontario open for jobs, we need to make sure that businesses can find the skilled workforce they need to grow,” said McNaughton. “Government can’t do that alone. It’s great to see employers and educators team up and use their expertise to tackle local labour market challenges. That’s the kind of initiative we need to support within Ontario.”